Covid-19Family Care

September 14, 2020 by MJ Lacourse

A close family member of mine has COVID-19, and I will stay home from work to take care of them. What can I do to receive income while I’m not working?

As described in FAQ 3 above, under the Families First Act, government employers and employers with fewer than 500 employees are required to provide their employees with 10 days of sick leave, which can be used to care for someone in your household with COVID-19 or who has been advised by a healthcare professional to self-quarantine because of concerns about the virus.  Employers with fewer than 50 employees may be able to obtain a waiver from the Department of Labor relieving them from having to provide sick leave under the Act, and employers of employees who are healthcare providers or emergency responders may be able to opt out of the law.

If you are not eligible for sick leave and you leave your job to care for a family member, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits (see FAQs 1 and 2).  You may also be entitled to take job-protected unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the Maine Family Leave Requirements Act (see FAQ 6).

DISCLAIMER: This FAQ Sheet is intended to provide accurate, general background information regarding legal rights relating to employment in Maine. It is not legal advice. Because laws and legal procedures are subject to differing interpretations and frequent change, particularly in an emergency, the authors cannot ensure the information is current or be responsible for how the information is used. Do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney or the appropriate agency about your rights in your particular situation.